9 Hip Flexor Exercises With Bands: Increase Strength & Hip Mobility

If you’re dealing with tight hips or an injury, it may be time to ask your physical therapist about hip flexor exercise bands to help you further your rehab efforts.

Here, we’ll explore hip flexor resistance band exercises you can use to strengthen those muscles.

Beginners can do modified versions of these exercises without bands until they get more comfortable with them, then add the bands to make the workout more challenging as hip strength improves.

Hip Flexor Exercises with Bands social

Understanding Your Hip Flexor Muscles

Hip flexor muscles are a set of powerful but often-overlooked muscles located at the front of the hip.

Four main hip muscles make up the flexor muscle group: iliacus, iliopsoas (psoas major, psoas minor), and rectus femoris.

Psoas muscle medical vector illustration diagram

The iliacus and psoas major originate from the ilium, while the psoas minor originates from the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae.

The rectus femoris comes from the anterior inferior iliac spine. All of these muscles insert into either the femur or patella.

The primary function of the hip flexor muscles is to flex the knee and hip joints, allowing us to bend, twist, and lift. However, these muscles also help stabilize the pelvis and keep the spine in alignment.

If one or more of these muscles is tight or weak, it can lead to problems such as lower back pain, knee pain, and even hip pain. Any strength training routine must work these muscles alongside the hamstrings and glute muscles.

Why Resistance Bands are Great for Strengthening Hip Flexors

By targeting your hip flexors with resistance bands, you can avoid typical workout injuries and increase overall fitness. Specifically, resistance bands help to improve hip mobility and flexibility, allowing you to move through your full range of motion more easily and safely.

In addition, by increasing strength and stability in this area of the body, resistance bands can also improve posture and reduce stress on other parts of the body over time.

Best Hip Flexor Resistance Band Exercises

Before starting your hip flexor strengthening exercises, warm up with a few stretches.

Standing Hip Flexion

hip flexion exercise
  1. Begin in a standing position. Step forward with your right leg. Keep your left foot planted firmly on the ground behind you.
  2. Lean forward, bending at your hips until you start feeling a stretch in the front of your right thigh.
  3. Keeping your abs engaged, exhale, and pull your right knee up toward your chest.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Perform 12-15 reps then switch sides.

Isometric Hip Press Exercise

Isometric Hip Press exercise
  1. Lie flat on your back. Keep your arms by your side and your palms down.
  2. Raise your hips up as high as you comfortably can. Squeeze your glute muscles at the top.
  3. Return to the starting position. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps. 

Having Babies Exercise

having babies - compressed
  1. Sit back on your elbows, keeping your feet together.
  2. Place a resistance band above your knees. 
  3. Raise your hips up as high as you can. Push your knees out against the band. Hold the position for two seconds.
  4. Push your knees back together, keeping your feet together the entire time.

Exhale as you open your knees and inhale when you bring them back together.

Repeat for 15 to 20 reps. In addition to the hip flexors, this exercise is great for the core and triceps.

Monster Walks

Monster Walks
  1. Place a resistance band just above your ankles.
  2. Step forward until you feel moderate resistance. 
  3. Bend your knees at a 45-degree angle and keep your back straight. 
  4. Walk your leg forward while maintaining constant tension on the band. 
  5. Walk backward to your starting position.

Gator Bites

gator bites compressed
  1. Lie on your side, with the bottom arm extended out straight under your head.
  2. Place a resistance band over your knees.
  3. Lift your top leg until the band stretches to the maximum resistance. Exhale when you lift your leg and inhale as you lower it.

Focus on proper movement rather than the speed with this exercise to keep yourself injury-free. Repeat for 10 to 15 repetitions on each side.

Glute Back Presses

Glute Back Presses
  1. Put a resistance band around your ankles. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Tuck your pelvis to lengthen your lower back. Keep both knees facing forward.
  3. Lift your leg straight back. Hold the pose for two seconds.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 20 reps.

Half Jacks 

half jacks
  1. Step into the middle of a resistance band and pull it up (like putting on pants) until it’s just above your knees.
  2. Stand up straight with your legs a bit wider than shoulder-width apart in a quarter squat position.
  3. Jump up, landing with your feet apart and flat on the ground. During this exercise, your upper body will move forward a bit. Keep your hands in front of your chest as if you’re about to catch a ball.

Exhale as you hit the floor, and inhale on the way back to the starting position.

Repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions.

Single Leg Glute Med Kicks

Single Leg Glute Med Kicks
  1. Step into a resistance band and leave it around your ankles.
  2. Keep your shoulders back, back straight, and balance on one leg. 
  3. Swing the opposite leg to the side, holding the position for two seconds.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position.

Repeat 20 times on each side.

River Dancer

river dancer
  1. Place a resistance band above your knees and put your hands on your hips.
  2. Raise your left knee up and over your right leg. 
  3. Tap your left foot on the floor next to the right foot.
  4. Repeat with the opposite side while hopping on your toe with a rhythm, like the “River Dancers” main step. 

Try These Simple Banded Hip Flexor Exercises at Home

If you’re suffering from tight hip flexors, you’re not alone. Using these banded hip flexor exercises regularly will help you strengthen your muscles so you can work your way up to a more active lifestyle.

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Dr. Kristina DeMatas

Dr. DeMatas practices holistic, evidence-based family medicine that focuses on treating injuries and transforming lives through prevention, rehabilitation, and diet. She is a licensed, practicing Physician at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. Read bio.


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